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Pirates To Promote Luis Ortiz

Pirates To Promote Luis Ortiz

The Pirates will promote pitching prospect Luis Ortiz to the majors, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (Twitter link).  It will be a Major League debut for Ortiz, a 23-year-old right-hander who was an international signing in 2018.  The Bucs will need to make some corresponding moves to create space on the active and 40-man rosters.

Ortiz is rated by Baseball America as Pittsburgh’s 22nd-best prospect, with BA’s scouting report describing Ortiz as “perhaps the most improved pitcher in the Pirates’ system.”  After pitching in A-ball in 2021, Ortiz began the 2022 campaign at Double-A and has a combined 4.56 ERA over 124 1/3 innings at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.  The home run ball has been an issue for Ortiz, but he has solid walk, strikeout, and grounder rates that belie his forgettable ERA.

His most recent outing was a gem, as Ortiz threw six no-hit innings for Triple-A Indianapolis on September 8.  That would seemingly put Ortiz to make his MLB debut on Tuesday, when the Pirates have a doubleheader against the Reds.  It remains to be seen if the Pirates will properly start Ortiz in one of the two games, or if they could look to ease him into action as part of a bullpen game or as a bulk pitcher.

The bullpen might eventually end up being Ortiz’s long-term destination, though naturally the Pirates will first see what he can do as a starter before exploring relief assignments.  Ortiz’s upper-90s fastball profiles well as a signature pitch, and he complements that fastball with a quality slider and an improving changeup.

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